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Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the dews that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters—lone and dead,—
Their still waters—still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.
By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,—
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily;
By the mountains—near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever;
By the grey woods—by the swamp,
Where the toad and the newt encamp;
By the dismal tarns and pools,
Where dwell the Ghouls;
By each spot the most unholy,
In each nook most melancholy,
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past,—
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by,—
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth—and Heaven.
For the heart whose woes are legion
Tis a peaceful, soothing region;
For the spirit that walks in shadow,
'Tis—oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not, dare not openly view it;
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named Night,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.
But he grew old,
This knight so bold,
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow:
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be,
This land of Eldorado?"
"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The Shade replied, "If you seek for Eldorado!"
The ring is on my hand,
And the wreath is on my brow;
Satins and jewels grand
Are all at my command,
And I am happy now.
And my lord he loves me well;
But, when first he breathed his vow, I felt my bosom swell, For the words rang as a knell, And the voice seemed his who fell In the battle down the dell,
And who is happy now.
But he spoke to reassure me,
And he kissed my pallid brow,
While a reverie came o'er me,
And to the churchyard bore me,
And I sighed to him before me,
Thinking him dead D'Elormie,
"Oh, I am happy now!"